Latest update - Wednesday 12 January 2022: we have received further limited funding from central government and have reopened this fund for applications. If you are eligible please apply without delay.
Does your household need extra financial support this winter? If you’re finding it difficult to keep warm, buy enough food or pay essential bills, you may be able to get extra help. Residents across East Sussex can now apply for help from the Government’s Household Support Fund, which local councils are now helping to pay out.
How do I qualify for help?
You must live within the council’s area, be over the age of 18, and be finding it difficult to pay for heating, lighting, water bills or food. You must also be in receipt of one of the following benefits :
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Council Tax Reduction Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income Based Job-Seeker’s Allowance
- Income Based Employment & Support Allowance
What costs can I get help with?
You can get help with the cost of food, heating and lighting, or water bills.
Apply for a Household Support Grant
Check whether you quality for support - Household Support Grant Eligibility criteria
The form will also ask you to upload evidence that you claim an eligible welfare benefit and any bills that you are finding it difficult to pay, so please have electronic copies / photos of these to hand.
How will I receive the financial help?
If you qualify, help with meeting the cost of gas, electricity and water bills will be paid direct into your bank account, up to a maximum of £250 per household. We may ask for evidence that you have used the money to pay the bill off.
If you qualify for help with food costs, electronic vouchers that can be spent in a supermarket of your choice will be issued. The amount you may qualify for will depend on how many adults and children live in your home.
What information should I have to hand before I apply?
Having the following to hand will will help speed up the application process and how quickly we can check that you qualify for help.
- Your national insurance number
- Evidence of your welfare benefits you claim, such a copy, photo or screenshot
- Your bank account number and sort code
- Electronic copies of any bills you are having difficulty paying (if you ae applying for help with meeting the cost of heating, lighting or water).
How is this scheme being funded?
All of these programmes are supported by the Department for Work & Pensions, who have allocated £3.9M of Government’s Household Support Fund to East Sussex. This fund is available up to the end of March 2022, but may close sooner depending on how many applications for help are received.
Are any other types of help on offer?
Yes – further, advice and help are available across the County as follows:
- Warm homes check service - if you’re worried about keeping warm at home and you are on a low income, contact the team to get free advice and see if you qualify for help with any upgrades to things like windows, boilers, or insulation. Keep warm and well | East Sussex County Council, text WARM to 80011 or phone 0800 464 7307.
- Free School Meals - vouchers are on offer for children in families who qualify. They can be claimed for two weeks over the Christmas holiday in December, for half-term in February 2022 and for the two-week Easter holiday in April 2022. Speak to your school or click here for more help - Free school meals – East Sussex County Council.
- Advice and support. Contact Citizens Advice, who can help direct you a range of advice and help services. They can also put you in touch with a range of voluntary groups and foodbanks across East Sussex that have also been given extra funding to help East Sussex residents manage extra the extra costs we are all facing this winter.
- Citizens advice, Eastbourne - Call 0800 144 8848 or find advice online at Citizens Advice Eastbourne - eastbournecab.co.uk
- Citizens Advice, Lewes - Call 0808 278 7892 or find advice online at Lewes District Citizens Advice | East Sussex Citizens Advice - lewesdistrictcab.org.uk